New Delhi: Mughal emperor Babur’s invasion of India and the destruction of the Ram temple that once stood in Ayodhya is a “historical wrong,” counsel for a Hindu party to the case submitted on Tuesday to a five-judge Supreme Court bench, which hinted that arguments on the title suit over the disputed site may end on Wednesday and not Thursday, October 17, as had been suggested earlier.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, who heads the bench hearing cross appeals in the Ramjanmabhumi-Babri Masjid title dispute case, allotted 45 minutes to Hindu parties to conclude their arguments on Wednesday. The Muslim side will be allowed to argue for one hour thereafter, he said. The bench then allotted four slots of 45 minutes each to other parties involved in the matter. If all the parties judiciously stick to their time slots, Wednesday could be the final day of the arguments.
The top court had in September fixed October 18 as the deadline for wrapping up the hearing. Before the court shut for a Dussehra break on October 5, the CJI revised the deadline to October 17, giving the bench a month’s time to deliver its ruling on the casebefore he retires on November 17. The bench, which also comprises justices S A Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer, is hearing appeals against the September 30, 2010 judgement of the Allahabad high court which ordered a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres in Ayodhya The hearing on Wednesday saw the Hindu side urging the court to “rectify a historical wrong.”
“Please do reparation for a historical wrong of a foreign ruler coming here and saying I am Emperor Babur and the law is below me; that my fiat is the law,” senior advocate K Parasaran, representing Mahant Suresh Das, said.
Hindu groups claim that a Ram temple existed at the disputed site that marks the birthplace of the warrior-god and that the shrine was destroyed and a 16th century mosque called Babri Masjid built on its ruins after Babur invaded India. In December 1992, the mosque was razed by Hindu activists campaigning for a temple on the site. Parasaran said Hindus “have been fighting for centuries for the place believed to be the birthplace of Ram”.